I. Statement of Objectives
The State of Connecticut, acting through the Connecticut State Employees Retirement
Commission, is seeking to obtain a contract with an organization to provide on an annual
basis personal statements of benefits for State Employees Retirement System members. The
statements must present information that is clear, concise, up-to-date and useful for
members' future retirement planning.
II. Background Information
The Connecticut State Employees Retirement System (CSERS) is a defined benefit plan
funded on an actuarial basis serving approximately 56,000 active, 750 inactive vested and
28,000 retired members in accordance with the provisions of the Connecticut General
Statutes, Chapter 66. CSERS is a two tier plan with three separate plan calculation
routines plus two hazardous duty calculations.
The Office of the State Comptroller's Retirement & Benefit Services Division
(Division) administers the provisions of C.G.S., Chapter 66 under the direction of a
single board of trustees known as the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission
The Division maintains an in-house data base system with information on members'
retirement plan membership and beneficiaries, employment records, earnings and applicable
contributions, additional service credit and group life insurance which is utilized to
calculate and process monthly retirement benefits.
Some of the services provided to members by the Division are pre-retirement planning
workshops, individual benefit counselling sessions, summary plan description booklets and,
pursuant to Chapter 66 of the General Statutes, annual personal statements of benefits.
The current laser printed booklet design of the CSERS Personal Statement of Benefits
provides members' detailed personal benefits information in an easily understood and
useful format. A sample statement is enclosed as "Exhibit A".
III. Contract Requirements
The contractor will be expected to perform the following services:
- Design, produce and distribute a personal statement of benefits annually for all active
and inactive, vested CSERS members which must include at a minimum the following:
- Preprinted text providing general information about retirement and social security
- Year to date and life to date employee contributions and accrued interest payable on
- Estimated values of member's retirement benefit at normal retirement and illustration of
available benefit payment options utilizing member's employment and plan membership data
as provided by the Division.
- Estimated Social Security benefits for member and spouse.
- Estimated Social Security disability benefits and informational paragraphs regarding
retirement plan and insurance benefits available to disabled members.
- Lump sum retirement plan, life insurance and Social Security survivors' benefits along
with informational text on monthly retirement plan survivor benefits and estimated Social
Security monthly benefits for dependents.
- Informational paragraph on survivors' medical and dental benefits.
- Preprinted text describing active employee's available medical and dental benefits.
- Member's retirement plan membership.
- Member's personal data such as date of birth, Social Security number, employee number
- Listing of member's retirement plan beneficiary(ies).
- Listing of member's group life insurance beneficiary(ies).
- Member's additional service credit data.
- Preprinted text on personal data correction procedures.
- Preprinted text describing each benefit which is easily understood and presents a clear
picture of the values of the member's benefit.
- A random satisfaction survey for members to express their opinions about the benefits
information provided on their statements.
- Confer with Division staff at the Division's offices to develop the preliminary and
final design and content of the statements and furnish up to ten production meeting
- Assist in the development of work plans and schedules for the statement design and
- Statements must provide benefit values as of June thirtieth and be delivered to members
before September thirtieth of each year.
- Draft statement text regarding general benefit provisions and any other desirable
generic and variable text.
- Provide data processing services as follows:
- All data and forms processing must be performed on-site at the contractor's location and
on the contractor's own equipment, assuring that member data will not leave the premises
until sealed in envelopes.
- In order to meet the established work schedule, 100% backup or similar equipment must be
- Equipment compatibility must be IBM 9-track, 6250 BPI uncompressed cartridges, data is
EBCDIC format, and diskettes, ASCII format.
- Work with the Division's data processing staff in developing the data record
requirements necessary to provide the detailed contribution and benefit information.
- The Division will be responsible for providing the contractor with the member's data as
specified in Section III, 1 of this RFP.
- Edit and update the data until accurate for report purposes.
- Process a test file of approximately 100 CSERS members and prepare sample statements for
review by the Division.
- Prepare and coordinate all artwork, forms and envelopes.
- Prepare and design key art and type specifications for forms layout and envelopes.
- Laser print the statements in a 8 1/4" by 5 1/4" booklet format on eight pages
(two parts, front and back) with a two color cover design utilizing recycled 60 lb paper.
- Utilize a double die cut window envelope for statement mailing.
- Provide the Division with a printer's proof cut and folded to illustrate text and
artwork in the exact manner of the printed form for approval and/or modification.
- Coordinate forms finishing and distribution.
- The contractor must provide for the printing, and as needed, the bursting, cutting,
scoring, folding, inserting into envelopes, presorting, and first class mailing at a
postal rate of 32 cents to member's home addresses within the scheduled time frames.
- Provide appropriate management reports.
- Input and output records of each member to be supplied either on microfiche, CD-ROM
using Adobe Acrobat or in Databse format using Microsoft Access and provided to the
Division before the mailing of the statements.
- . Up to 100 copies of a "John Doe" statement (created by the contractor) also
to be provided before the mailing of the statements.
- Other reports as deemed appropriate may be requested upon initial consultation.
IV. Duration of Contract
The term of this contract will be four years commencing on June 1, 1996 and concluding
on May 31, 2001.
V. Proposal Submission Requirements
- The contractor must submit an original plus ten (10) copies of a written proposal to:
State of Connecticut
Office of the State Comptroller
Retirement & Benefit Services Division
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Attention: Steven Weinberger, Director
- Contractors who have questions regarding this RFP should submit them in writing to Mr.
Weinberger at the address set forth above no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11,
1997. Answers to such questions will be transmitted from Monday, April 14 to Friday, April
18, 1997. No phone calls will be accepted relative to this RFP.
- Proposals must be received on or before 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 25, 1997.
- Each proposal must include the following:
- Title Page
A title page indicating the date, subject, name of the contractor,
and the address, telephone number, name and title of the contractor's contact person.
An outline of the contractor's background and experience in
producing innovative benefit statements for large organizations, including public sector
- Work Samples
Samples of the products to be provided by the contractor.
- Recommended Workplan
A recommended workplan for the completion of the design
and actual production of the statement.
- Non-Personalized Production
Resumes of professionals who specialize in the
production of the non-personalized portion of the statement including production of the
printing of text, covers, envelopes, reply cards or forms, assembly, sequence checking,
References from large organizations, including public sector
organizations, the contractor has assisted in the production of personal statements of
- Computer Systems
Description of on-site computer system contractor will be
- Backup Equipment
Description of alternative backup for all equipment which may
be utilized by contractor.
Description of all services to be subcontracted and how firm
controls cost, quality, timeliness and confidentiality for these services.
- Fee Structure
Detailed fee structure itemized by type of service, such as fees
specifically for design, preparation of artwork and text, printing of the forms and
personalized computer data, paper costs associated with sample statements, and the
finishing process of statement production, assuming a quantity of 55,500. Cost per
additional statement beyond specified count should also be included.
- Conflict of Interest
Disclose any current or past (within the last two years)
business relationships which may pose a conflict of interest.
- Affirmative Action
A summary of the contractor's experience with affirmative
action including a summary of the contractor's affirmative action plan and policy
Section 4-114a-3(10) of the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies requires agencies
to consider the following factors when awarding a contract which is subject to contract
- The contractor's success in implementing an affirmative action plan;
- The contractor's success in developing an apprenticeship program complying with Section
46a-68-1 to 46a-68-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, inclusive;
- The contractor's promise to develop and implement a successful affirmative action plan;
- The contractor's submission of EEO-1 data indicating that the composition of its work
force is at or near parity when compared to the racial and sexual composition of the work
force in the relevant labor market area; and
- The contractor's promise to set aside a portion of the contract for legitimate small
contractors and minority business enterprises, where applicable. (See Section 32-9e of the
Connecticut General Statutes.)
A "Notification to Contractors" form is
attached, to be read, signed, and returned by the contractor. ("Attachment I")
Also attached is a Contract Compliance Requirements reporting form, which the
contractor must complete sign, and return; such form will be sent by OSC to the Commission
on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). ("Attachment II")
At the contractor's option, an executive summary may be included in
VI. SELECTION PROCESS AND SCHEDULE
Request for Proposals and Response Phase
|March 31, 1997
||Release of RFP by Commission
|April 11, 1997
||Questions due at Commission
|April 14-18, 1997
||Division answers questions received
|April 25, 1997
||Proposals due at Commission
Review and Selection Schedule
|April 29 - May 2, 1997
||Reading and Scoring of Proposals by Screening Committee
|May 5 - May 9, 1997
||Finalist Interviews (see Notes)
|May 22, 1997
Finalist interviews will be conducted at the option of the Screening Committee.
Contractors selected as finalists will be expected to make a presentation to the Screening
Committee, followed by a question and answer period, at Commission Offices in Hartford,
Connecticut. All expenses incurred by finalists shall be borne exclusively by contractors
and treated as a cost of responding to this RFP.
VII. Instructions to Contractors
Conformance - All responses to this RFP must conform to these instructions. Failure to
conform may be considered appropriate cause for rejection of the response.
Delivery of Responses - RFP responses must be in sealed envelopes upon which a clear
indication has been made of the RFP reference title, as well as the date and time the
proposal is due. The name and address of the vendor must appear on the envelope. FAX
responses are not acceptable.
Structure of Response - Contractors must structure the responses as outlined in this
Exclusion of Taxes from Prices - The State of Connecticut is exempt from the payment of
excise, transportation, and sales taxes imposed by the Federal Government and the State.
Such taxes must be excluded from quoted prices.
Signature and Responsible Persons - The proposal must be signed by an authorized
official. The proposal must also provide name, title, address, and telephone number for
individuals with authority to negotiate and contractually bind the contractor, and for
those who may be contacted for the purpose of clarifying the information provided.
"Not to Exceed" Quotations - All cost estimates will be considered as
"not to exceed" quotations.
VIII. Terms and Conditions
Any contractor responding to this RFP must be willing to adhere to the following
conditions and must so state in its submission:
- Acceptance or Rejection by the State - The state reserves the right to accept or reject
any or all proposals submitted for consideration. All proposals will be kept sealed and
safe until the deadline for submission has passed.
- Conformance with Statutes - Any contract awarded as a result of this RFP must be in full
conformance with statutory requirements of the State of Connecticut.
- Ownership of Proposals - All proposals in response to this RFP are to be the sole
property of the state, and subject to the provisions of Section 1-19 of the Connecticut
General Statutes (Freedom of Information).
- Ownership of Subsequent Products - Any product, whether acceptable or unacceptable,
developed under the contract awarded as a result of this RFP is to be the sole property of
the state unless stated otherwise in the RFP or contract.
- Availability of Work Papers - All work papers and data used in the process of performing
this project must be available for inspection by the State of Connecticut Auditors of
Public Accounts for a period of three (3) years or until audited.
- Timing and Sequence - Timing and sequence of events resulting from this RFP will
ultimately be determined by the state.
- Stability of Proposed Prices - Any price offerings from contractors must be valid for a
period of one hundred eighty (180) days from the due date of contractor proposals.
- Oral Agreements - Any alleged oral agreement or arrangement made by a contractor with
any agency or employee will be superseded by the written agreement.
- Amending or Canceling Requests - The state reserves the right to amend or cancel this
RFP, prior to the due date and time, if it is in the best interests of the state.
- Rejection for Default or Misrepresentation - The state reserves the right to reject the
proposal of any contractor which is in default of any prior contract or for
- State's Clerical Errors in Awards - The state reserves the right to correct inaccurate
awards resulting from its clerical errors.
- Rejection of Qualified Proposals - Proposals are subject to rejection in whole or in
part if they limit or modify any of the terms and conditions and/or specifications of the
- Contractor Presentation of Supporting Evidence - A contractor, if requested, must be
prepared to present evidence of experience, ability, service facilities, and financial
standing necessary to satisfactorily meet the requirements set forth or implied in the
- Changes to Proposal - No additions or changes to the original proposal will be allowed
after submittal. While changes are not permitted, clarification at the request of the
agency may be required at the contractor's expense.
- Expenses Incurred - The state will not reimburse any contractor for any costs or
expenses incurred in preparing proposals or in any other connection with this RFP,
including travel expenses relating to an oral presentation.
- Collusion - By responding, the contractor implicitly states that the proposal is not
made in connection with any competing contractor submitting a separate response to the
RFP, and is in all respects fair and without collusion or fraud. It is further implied
that the contractor did not participate in the RFP development process, had no knowledge
of the specific contents of the RFP prior to its issuance, and that no employee of the
agency participated directly or indirectly in the contractor's proposal preparation.
IX. Evaluation of Proposals
Each proposal will be evaluated by a Screening Committee using the following criteria
to determine which contractor is most capable of implementing the Commission's
- Contractor's experience with and ability to do the specific work.
- Contractor's understanding of the project's purpose and scope, as evidenced by the
proposed approach and the level of effort.
- Competitiveness of proposed cost.
- Availability and competence of personnel.
- Conformity with specifications contained herein.
- Demonstration of commitment to affirmative action by full compliance with the
regulations of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
- At the option of the Screening Committee, an oral presentation.
X. Rights Reserved to the State
The state reserves the right to award in part, to reject any and all proposals in whole
or in part, to waive technical defects, irregularities and omissions if, in its judgement,
the best interest of the state will be served.
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